International Encyclopaedia
of the Histories of Anthropology

Worms, Ernst Alfred (1891-1963)

Coordinated by Regina Ganter

Griffith University

Father Ernst Alfred Worms (1891-1963), born in Bochum, Germany, studied theology and philosophy at the Pallottine Fathers’ headquarters in Limburg. He became the first missionary linguist among the German Pallotines in Australia and wrote two major books on Aboriginal languages and religion, published posthumously. The theoretical framework of his observations is now widely disputed, but his meticulous description of Aboriginal religious customs and ideas is still highly valued by researchers who are sensitive to issues of attachment to places.

Keywords: Linguistics | Diffusionism | Christian missions | Missionary | First half of the 20th century | Germany | Australia | Australian studies | Australian languages | Magico-religious practices | Religion | Catholicism | Cultural diffusion and migrations | Cultural circles/Kulturkreise | Cultural morphology | Wilhelm Schmidt

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